Jacques Lacoursière, the renowned Quebec historian, can now be read in English. This handy guide to a little-known part of North American history tells the fascinating tale of the settlement of the St. Lawrence Valley. But it also tells of the Montreal and Quebec-based explorers and traders who travelled, mapped, and inhabited a very large part of North America, and “embrothered the peoples” they met, as Jack Kerouac wrote. Based on meticulous research, Jacques Lacoursière and Robin Philpot connect everyday life to the events that emerged as historical turning points in the life of a people, thus shedding new light on Quebec’s 450-year history––and on the historical forces that lie behind its two recent efforts to gain independence.
A People’s History of Quebec never ceases to surprise by its breadth and depth. For example, readers will learn about:
- The pre-Conquest ginseng boom with exports to China, and its eventual bust
- The Montreal fire chief who torched the Parliament of United Canada in 1849, which helps explain why Ottawa became the Capital
- The Jewish Emancipation Act of 1832, a first in the British Empire, adopted thanks to Louis-Joseph Papineau and the Patriote Party
- The Conscription crises in Quebec that shook Canada during both World Wars, and much more…
207 pages, 24 illustrations, $19.95
“A People’s History of Quebec is both an excellent history book to refresh the reader’s memory and a rich introduction to a people who supposedly had no history. A great read.”
Hélène de Billy, writer, biographer, journalist.
“Recipient of the Pierre Berton Award in 1996, Jacques Lacoursière is to Quebec what Pierre Berton was to English Canada.”
Canada’s National History Society, publisher of The Beaver
“If Lord Durham had met Jacques Lacoursière, he would surely not have written that the French Canadians were a ‘people with no history and no literature’. In fact, in Quebec, Jacques Lacoursière’s name is synonymous with history.”
André Champagne, Radio-Canada
In bookstores July 2, 2009.